Abe Peck



1110 Via Bolzano, Santa Barbara, CA 93111 805-681-1102 c-847-452-7526

a-peck@northwestern.edu peckconsultants.com

Abe Peck has enjoyed a productive career as both media professional and educator. His specialty is magazines—he calls himself a “Magazine Chiropractor” because he aligns different media around the immersiveness, innovation and audience experience that remain key to magazine success. He also works with digital, newspaper and other media.

Current academic involvement: Abe relocated to Santa Barbara, CA, after 27 years as a full-time professor at the Medill School of Journalism / Northwestern University (www.medill.northwestern.edu), where he pioneered an inductive teaching program in magazine publishing and taught magazine and arts writing / editing. He remains a Professor Emeritus in Service; as the school’s first Director of Business-to-Business (B2B) Communication, he supervises fellowships and programs and teaches “Inside B2B Media,” in which students “consult” to publishers on current media issues. He guest lectures in other classes and has placed hundreds of Medill graduates.

Abe is affiliated with Medill’s Media Management Center (www.mediamanagementcenter.org), where he and colleagues have fostered innovation and cross-platform insights through executive seminars that have involved the Kellogg School of Management. The MMC-ABM / SIIA executive program he directed won rave reviews from attendees and the C-suite. Through MMC, Abe has conducted landmark research on “reader experiences” of various media, and has studied the dearth of corporate digital training with ASBPE, the American Society of Business Publication Editors.

Professionally, Abe works with both B2B and consumer titles, and on corporate communications training. In 2019, he became executive editor of Inside Unmanned Systems and Inside GNSS. He specializes in editorial brand development and portfolio expansion, strategic content performance reviews, vision and statements, cross-media positioning and architecture, ethics, feature writing, and writing / editing coaching. Abe has engaged with more than 100 publications, Web sites, portals and newspapers, from Pacific Standard and Spin to Highlights for Children and Inside Unmanned Systems. He has consulted to / led workshops for Access Intelligence, Advanstar, American Hospital Association, Autonomous, Babcox, Crain (ethics), Healthcare Financial Management Association, Lippincott / Wolters Kluwer, Nielsen, Putman, Reed and Vance. In 2015, he hosted a strategic planning retreat at his home for top staff from Vincentz (Hannover, Germany).

Internationally, Abe has lectured in China on apps, branding and brand circles, digital disruption, media experiences and tomorrow’s staff. He has worked with professionals at Peking University, with a roster of companies that includes 21st Century Media, BPA Worldwide media auditors, Cosmo Holdings, Nanfang, Rayli, Shenzhen and Viva, and with visiting Chinese journalists and officials in the U.S., including for the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS). He has consulted / lectured in Ecuador (Society of American Travel Writers), Finland, Hong Kong (Global Sources, Questex), India (Hindustan Times), Malaysia (Malaysian Publishers Ass.), the Philippines (Asian NGO, Global Sources), Qatar (Abode, Qatar Happenings) and the U.K. (Advanstar), and has reported from France, Hong Kong, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa and Tibet. He guest-lectures at Northwestern’s Qatar campus, and has done so at Fudan University (Shanghai), the Great Lakes School of Management (Chennai, India) and the University of the Philippines (Quezon City). He and other faculty members have taken student groups to Israel and Palestine.

Start-up consulting has included adventure travel, city, outdoor, pharmaceutical and security titles. Abe serves on the editorial board of the Social Justice Foundation, publisher of the National Magazine Award-winning Pacific Standard. He is an advisory director for Media Advisory Partners, an investment-banking firm that acquires and mentors media properties facing disruptive innovation (www.mediaadvisorypartners.com). He was on the founding committee of Mission & State, which encouraged accountability reporting in Santa Barbara and received a half-million-dollar grant from the Knight Foundation and local matching support.

Abe’s own writing / editing has included being Master Series Contributing Editor for Travel Weekly, writing destination and “issues” cover stories for the leading magazine for travel agents. He has been associate / contributing editor of Rolling Stone, consulting editor for Outside and contributing editor to Satisfaction, a Tribune Company magazine for baby boomers first launched in Medill’s student publishing program under his supervision. He has written for titles from Esquire, GQ and Town & Country to Folio: to The Rotarian, Logosjournal.com and MSNBC.com. He was a critic at large on WBBM-AM, Chicago, and a featured freelance rock music writer for the Associated Press.

Corporate clients have included Abbott, Eaton, Goldman Sachs, International Paper, Microsoft, the National Investors Relations Institute and Tellabs. Abe has worked with Academe and CASE on educational issues. He has led seminars on magazine start-ups for Folio: and the Western Publishing Association; as noted, he is a longtime program partner with SIAA (formerly American Business Media) and its executive management seminars.

Current lecture topics include:

· Audience experiences of media and how they influences engagement

· B2B trends                                             Brand audits / content brand circles

· Cross-platform branding                   Ethics

· Feature writing                                     Jobs in media; freelancing

· Macro forces influencing media       Magazines today and tomorrow

· Media launches                                     Social media

· Staffing for content excellence          Tomorrow’s editor                       Vision, mission, values

Journalism judging includes SIIA’s Jesse Neal Awards, the ASBPE Azbee Awards, the Association of Magazine Media’s National Magazine Awards and the Society of Publications in Asia’s SOPA awards. He has judged and / or organized contests for the Society of American Travel Writers, Advanstar, Allured, Lebhar-Friedman and Meredith.

Once editor of the Chicago Seed, Abe drew on his experience to write Uncovering the ‘60s: The Life and Times of the Underground Press (Pantheon / Carol), which The New York Times and others have called the genre’s “definitive” history. Allied work includes the forewords for 1968: The Whole World Is Watching (H&S) and Voices from the Underground (Incredible Librarian) and the radical-press entry for the History of Mass Media in the U.S. (Routeledge). He co-edited and wrote in Medill on Media Engagement (Hampton), edited Dancing Madness (Rolling Stone / Doubleday) and consulted on Rolling Stone’s History of the ‘60s (Random House). He contributed to The Eighties: A Look Back, The Experts Speak, The World Book Encyclopedia (“magazines”) and Trade, Industrial & Professional Periodicals of the United States. His chapter on the specialized business press appeared in The Routeledge Handbook of Magazine Research: The Future of the Magazine Form. His book reviews have run in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, The Progressive and logosjournnal.com.

At Medill, Abe became Chair of Journalism & Cross-media Storytelling after 25 years chairing Medill’s program in magazine writing, editing and publishing, from which five consumer and B2B titles were launched commercially. His publishing project with Reader’s Digest suggested digital repositioning and a major circulation adjustment; his B2B Media class has worked with Autonomous Media, Contemporary Pediatrics, Advanstar’s veterinary group, aviationtoday.com, Farm Journal Media, the Access Intelligence media group and Penton. He also taught arts reporting and journalism methods (a cross-media introduction to reporting). He advises Medill students in internships and in Medill’s Journalism Residency program.

Academic management has included his current Northwestern directorships; interim and associate deanships; and chairmanships of journalism and storytelling, magazine publishing and the committee that developed Medill’s first digital-age strategic plan. With other administrators, Abe raised nearly $25 million dollars to fund the complexities of contemporary journalism education. He oversaw a multi-million-dollar budget as the first director of the National Arts Journalism Program (Pew Foundation), which was based at Northwestern, Columbia, USC and Georgia. And he has run his own consulting business for many years, working with C-suite executives and journalists alike.

Education and honors: Abe received a BA in History from New York University, did graduate work at the City University of New York and earned a certificate from the Advanced Executive Program of the Media Management Center. He served in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Abe was the first Medill professor to be awarded an endowed chair (Sills Professorship) and the first to receive a second endowed chair (Helen Gurley Brown Professorship). He was Educator of the Year of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s magazine division, is in the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and holds a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Business Press Editors. As a reporter / editor / columnist for Chicago’s Daily News and Sun-Times, he won two Illinois Associated Press awards. He is listed in Who’s Who in the World, America, Education, Finance and Business, Jewry, Media and Communications and Midwest.

Abe’s wife, Suzanne, is a communications consultant and a member of the Santa Barbara Commission on Women. She wrote / directed the book / video Stand Tall: Lessons To Teach Respect and Prevent Bullying (Corwin) and co-authored Ruff, a get-going parable on change management (Blue Point). One son is an award-winning musical director based in Chicago; the other is Director of Client Services for o3mdm, a directional marketing firm in Chennai, India.

Abe studies tai chi at the Lau Kune Do (Way of the Flowing Fist) temple, and was named “Student of the Year” for 2015 and a “Special Student” in 2014 and 2012. He sings doo-wop (’50-‘60s vocals), and is an honorary member of the Doo Wop Hall of Fame, which is based in South Central LA. He has traveled to 45 countries and territories and is interested in world politics—and, of course, in exploring magazine media across their ever expanding formats.